Audubon Program: Pollinators

In recent years, there has been a lot of media attention given to the loss of pollinating insects in the landscape. There are a myriad of theories such as habitat reduction and degradation that has affected crop yields in various agricultural industries.

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With our on-going efforts to have the golf course become an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary (http://www.auduboninternational.org/acspgolf), our staff began an initiative to help increase the local population of pollinating insects.

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This past Friday, we received our “nucs” or nucleus colonies (pictured above) of honey bees from a local provider.

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Above, First Assistant Golf Course Superintendent Ben Gotwalt is transferring the bees to their new home.

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We estimate each hive has 3,000 bees to start the season. This number is expected to increase throughout the spring and into the summer as we add boxes and frames. In late August or early September, we will  begin the process of removing the boxes and draw down the hive population with the hope of harvesting honey.

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Above is a one-box hive. The small black box on top is the feeder tray. With the help of Chef Dave Daddezio, we added simple syrup for food. This sugary water concoction will help with the bees transition to the hive. We have already seen our bees beginning to forage on the course and they will rely less on the syrup going forward.

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In early March, we began prepping the area for the hives between the three ponds on the eleventh and fifteenth holes.

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The picture above was taken this morning.

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The picture above is again from March and the picture below is from this morning. It is our intention to seed this area in the future with fine fescue (native rough) as a natural habitat for our new neighbors.

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We wish our bees well and hope for some honey this fall!

Number 11

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As you have played the course, you may have asked yourself or your partners, “Wonder why this area is roped off?”

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Our staff has made two applications of Round-Up in preparation for seeding this area for fine fescue or native rough. With this species of turf in place, we have taken an area out of our regular mowing operations and can re-allocate resources such as labor and fuel consumption to other areas of the course.

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In a few years, this area will have the look of the third hole pictured above. The area below the fourth tee above was seeded in 2015 and will likely produce a golden hue similar to the third hole this golf season.

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Above is the approved 2016 Master Plan of the 11th hole by golf course architect, Andrew Green. The letter “F” on the right-side of the page represents native rough additions, with native rough also installed to the back left of the green complex, as well as, the hillside leading to the tees for number 12.

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2017 Student Interns

Each fall, we begin the recruitment process for our nationally acclaimed internship program. Since it’s inception in 2008, our students have been awarded scholarships from their experience here at the Club in excess of $16,000. We are fortunate to have secured two students this season year.

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Andrew J. Josefoski

AJ earned his BS in Sport Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the Spring of 2016. He is currently studying golf course turfgrass management at Penn State University in their two-year certificate program.

Before coming to Bidermann, AJ worked at Oakmont Country Club in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for three seasons where he was fortunate enough to be a part of the 2016 U.S. Open.

In July, AJ will spend the week helping the daily preparation for the U.S. Women’s Open.

In his spare time, AJ enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with friends and family.

“I came to the Wilmington area to experience managing a golf course in one of the toughest areas to grow turf. I believe the internship at Bidermann will afford me the best opportunity to learn and will provide a solid base for my career in golf course management.”

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David E. Ward

Dave is currently enrolled at Rutgers University in pursuit of a Professional Turfgrass Management certificate.

 Although this is Dave’s first season in the golf industry, his past experiences of working in the tree management trade will provide a great foundation for his career and a benefit for the Club this season.

In late May, we will be sending Dave to volunteer on the grounds staff for the Senior PGA Championship.

Outside of work, Dave enjoys golfing, hunting and fishing.  He says, “I love the challenge of learning new things and look forward to being an integral part of the Bidermann team!”